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Take Control of Your Professional Development
Often we wait for our employers, supervisors, or bosses to suggest professional development. If they do not do so, we remain in the same position and do not grow. To be happy at work, take control of your professional development. Set goals for yourself in terms of new skills to master, new roles to try on, or new positions to aspire to. Don’t be passive – be active! Seek out opportunities for new training or education, and enlist your supervisor or manager’s support. Be willing to develop new skills, and look for opportunities to do so. Create a professional development plan for the next year or even five years for yourself, and actively seek ways to implement it.
Seek Frequent Feedback
Seeking frequent feedback is another way to take control of your career happiness. Being aware of what we are doing well and what we can improve helps us as we set professional goals. Draw on your support team to seek out feedback regularly. Rather than relying on yearly or quarterly reviews, or waiting for a supervisor or colleague to come to you with feedback, ask for feedback on the completion of projects, after presentations, or when collaborating with others. Make an agreement with members of your support team that you will regularly ask for their feedback, and that you will listen carefully to what they have to say. When you receive feedback, listen respectfully rather than preparing to respond. Then decide how best to act on feedback, both developmental and positive.
Practice Professional Courage
One of the greatest things you can do for your own professional development and workplace happiness is practice professional courage. Professional courage involves directly and productively addressing conflicts, advocating for yourself and others on your team, and otherwise dealing directly and pro actively with potential problems. It can be difficult to practice professional courage, as it involves taking risks – it can seem easier to let a conflict go unaddressed or to accept the status quo. However, allowing conflict to be unresolved or your needs to go unmet can breed resentment and undermine productivity and happiness. Professional courage helps to promote open communication in the workplace. It also assures that resentments and grudges do not fester. Learning to practice professional courage is a leadership skill which can help prepare you for, and make you a candidate for, more responsibility or promotions. But even if it does not lead to job advancement, practising professional courage marks you out as a leader and someone who wants to promote the healthiest workplace.
For more on our Increasing Your Happiness course, please visit:
Check out this video by CCF President, Master Coach and our friend, Abe Brown: What Makes People Happy